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Dateline NBC

News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb. Investigative journalism. (CC) (Stereo)

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Jordan 7, Us 7, Joe 6, Johnny 5, Taylor 5, Natalie Morales 4, Lester Holt 2, Nicole 2, Kimbia 2, Michelle Borba 2, Sarah 2, Nbc 2, Yoplait 2, New York 1, Lauren 1, City 1, Kristina 1, United States 1, Carissa 1, Katy Do 1,
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  NBC    Dateline NBC    News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz,  
   Hoda Kotb. Investigative journalism. (CC) (Stereo)  

    October 3, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00pm PDT  

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it might be the most dangerous part of your child's day. and you're not there. when our teens are behind the wheel, how did they do? cameras in the car reveal the truth. >> this is probably illegal. >> and parents will see every moment. >> that shocks me. >> maybe you'd feel better if someone else were driving. but what if that person seemed to be high or drunk? >> i gave myself a couple of shots before this. >> would your child get in the car with this guy? parents watch as our hidden cameras capture their children's choices unfolding in real time. >> it's an eye opener. >> some kids will blow it it.
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>> others will make a right choice. >> no drinking and driving. >> how do you make sure your teen makes good decisions? >> parents can have a tremendous influence on their kids. much more so than they think. >> natalie morales with "my kid would never do that." thanks for joining us. i'm lester holt. it's something we all worry about, how would our kids handle a tricky or dangerous situation when we're not around. natalie morales joins us for a look at kids and cars. >> it is that nail-biting moment for parents giving your kids the keys to the family car. but what if that person seemed to be high or drunk?
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the first time you hand over the car keys to your teen, it's not just because teens are inexperienced, it's all the critical choices they'll have to make. like should they answer that text while driving? [ bleep ] >> or put their lives in the hands of a friend who's been drinking. teens face many split-second decisions that could forever change their lives. and too often they make the wrong choice. teen drivers are four times more likely to crash than older drivers. and the number of teens killed in car crashes has risen for the first time in eight years. according to the governor's highway safety association. one reason may be that there are more teens on the road. >> they are, by nature, risk takers. >> reporter: parenting expert michelle borba says it is not that teens don't know better -- >> they know the consequences. but when push comes to shove,
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consequences versus the risk -- they actually will take the risk. >> reporter: but parents can make a difference, and tonight we'll show you how. i'm a mom myself with two young boys, and like most parents, i often wonder if the lessons i'm teaching my kids are getting through, am i being effective? some concerned parents are about to find out with the help of experts, "dateline" will put their kids in a series of situations that could be their worst parenting nightmare or their proudest moment. we found moms and dads who agreed to let us videotape their teens. as they face those critical choices. >> very nervous. >> reporter: like, will they be able to resist the powerful urge to pick up their phones while driving? >> i'm expecting the worst and hoping for the best. >> reporter: in 2009, 16% of fatal crashes involving teenagers were caused by distracted driving. many teens were distracted by cell phones. it's our first test tonight. we'll be following four teens
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who have recently gotten their driver's licenses. and thanks to their insurance company, american family, have also just had a special camera installed in their cars called a drive cam. if they make any risky driving maneuvers, like these scary scenes collected by drive cams, it will be caught on tape. here a teen busy texting swerves off the road and takes out a mailbox. will the camera catch them on their phones like this teen? [ bleep ] >> reporter: or like this girl who so dangerously distracted by her phone that she runs off the road. [ screaming? . [ >> reporter: luckily, no one was seriously hurt. >> as parents, we have to really understand the draw to be connected to your social network.
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>> reporter: rusty weis, family program director for drive cam says almost 50% of teens admit to texting while driving. >> a teen who says they won't talk, they won't text on a phone has so much pressure to do so, that commitment is most likely going to be broken. >> will we catch these kids on their phones even though they know they're being recorded? we've been collecting video from their cars for the last four months. now we've brought the drivers and their parents to new york city to watch the video clips for the first time. parents in one room, teens in another. are any of you nervous about your parents' reaction? >> yeah. >> carissa, you're nervous? >> yeah. >> when we met carissa four months ago, she described herself as cautious. >> i am a very careful driver. >> and she told us using her phone while driving was out of the question. >> you can't talk on your cell phone. obviously you can't text. >> was she able to stick to that rule? her mother's counting on it. >> i'm hoping no texting and driving.
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that's supposed to be one of our rules. >> carissa's mom was in a serious accident a few years ago when a driver blew through a four-way stop sign. >> the car was smashed up right to where i was sitting. so if my kids would have been with me they would not be here today. >> so this is much more personal having this camera installed in your car. >> yes, it is very serious. >> so how seriously has carissa taken all of her mother's warnings? >> red light, red light, red light -- >> reporter: in the video from inside her car, again and again carissa is nabbed using her phone while she's driving. a distraction that causes her to miss this light changing. she hits the brakes so hard, her purse goes flying. her mother's reaction -- >> you know, just one bad decision, she could kill somebody, kill herself. >> reporter: now it's katy's turn. she also told us she wouldn't use her phone behind the wheel.
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>> i've driven with a couple of my friends and a lot of them do text and drive or answer the phone or play with their ipods but i don't plan on testing it out. >> reporter: but her mom's not so sure katy's been able to stick to that. >> she's going to make mistakes. she's 16. i just hopes she learns from him. >> several times katy's caught taking corners too fast while she's snacking at the wheel. >> i eat all the time. ♪ >> singing also causes her trouble. >> this is bad, this is bad, this is bad. >> here she blows right through a top sign. >> i don't blow through a stop -- oh. >> but what about her cell phone? how did katy do? she's not only caught changing music on her phone, but texting. here she is so busy with her phone, she doesn't see the light
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change and has to slam on the brakes yet again. >> it's a huge distraction. it's definitely something when you sit down and talk about. >> we'll be gathering the parents and kids to talk about the driving clips. but first it's the boys' turn. what tale will their tapes tell? one's a self-proclaimed daredevil behind the wheel. the other is a professional go-kart racer. is there any chance these teens have resisted the magnetic pull of their cell phones? coming up, the answer to that. and later -- >> hunter has said clearly i was smoking pot. >> he made it very clear. >> made it very clear. >> would your teen get in a car with a driver who said he was high? when "my kid would never do that" continues.
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with the help of a special camera called a drive cam, we're about to see what these teen drivers have been up to behind the wheel. four months ago, a.j. boldly declared that the camera would not catch him using his cell phone. >> i don't talk on the phone while i'm driving. i don't text. i just kind of stick it in my glove box and leave aat >> and his mom believed him. >> i know he drives fast. i don't know about distracted though. he's told me he hasn't used his phone. >> do you believe that? >> yeah, to a degree. >> reporter: now he and his mom who are in separate rooms are about to see how he did. it turns out a.j.'s phone is not the reason for his closest call. his aggressive driving nearly causes a three-car collision. so is a.j.'s speed his only
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problem or is he also distracted by his cell phone. see for yourself. here he takes a turn too fast. and nearly loses control of the car. all the while his phone stays glued to his ear. >> he said he didn't use his cell phone, didn't plan on using his cell phone. he said it, i believed him. now he's giving me a reason not to believe him. >> reporter: our final test driver is mitch, a professional go-kart racer. >> i've been driving go-karts for probably about five years. >> reporter: he also told us he doesn't use his phone when he's driving. >> someone calls me, i don't normally answer it. i feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. i just wait. >> reporter: he tells his dad the same thing. >> we believe that he's not doing that because he's telling us he's not doing that. >> reporter: let's go to the tape. a few times it's not his phone that's a distraction, it's female passengers.
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watch here as mitch speeds into a turn, his passengers are not only not wearing shirts, no one's wearing seatbelts. but does he ever pull out his cell phone? here it is. pressed against his ear while speeding through a turn. and here he's on the phone and does a one-handed u-turn across double yellow lines. >> this is probably illegal -- ugh! >> reporter: but the most disturbing event comes at 3:00 in the afternoon. he falls asleep behind the wheel. >> that shocks me. we were notified about that just because it was so dangerous. that could have been head-on. it could have been the end of our kid. >> that's a lot to take in. >> that's a lot more than i thought. >> watching myself, things don't go as smoothly as i think they
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do to make me more aware of what my actions do to other people. >> hey. >> reporter: there's a lot of nervous laughter as we re-unite the families. but everyone knows this is deadly serious. so parents, if you're wondering how to stop your teens from grabbing for their cell phones, first off, set rules and enforce them, says parenting expert, michelle bourba, author of "the big book of parenting solutions." >> the proper punishment is take away the cell phone. >> reporter: but even more powerful than punishment, our expert tells us, is setting a good example. >> modeling it absolutely critical. they are watching us and they are copy cats. pull over to the side of the road, take the text, turn to your child and say that's how we better do it, because we're safer that way. >> reporter: something these parents have taken to heart. >> i will be changing some of the things i do as a driver so i can model that better for you. >> i just want to see a camera in your car and what you get. >> reporter: for our next test we take on a danger that's also
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killing teens on the road. will these kids get in a car with a driver who says he's high on drugs? >> so you're high right now. >> reporter: it's a subject that has only recently been studied. according to the united states drug czar, the results are frightening. >> on a friday or a saturday evening, about 1 in 8 drivers is testing positive for either an illegal drug or a legal drug. >> reporter: and he says drivers, especially teen drivers, don't realize how drugs can seriously impair their skills at the wheel. >> that lack of understanding the risk and the potential harm is very dangerous. >> reporter: these parents say they are aware of the dangers and know how common drug use is for teens. especially smoking pot. so they're curious to see how their daughters will do today.
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>> hi, my name is sidney. >> hi, my name is sara. >> what will these girls do when they're asked to get in a car with someone they think has been smoking pot? >> of course i'm going to smoke. come on. >> reporter: we've invited these teens to a school cafeteria that's been rigged with hidden cameras. they don't know the other two are actors. hunter who is pretending to be high, and remi is making sure the real kids believe him. >> you're high right now? >> yeah. >> let's continue. >> down the hall, the girls' moms and i will be watching them on monitors to see what their daughters will do when we hand our impaired looking actors the keys to an suv. sidney's mom insists all her kids know what to do if a driver is wasted. do not get in. >> call me and i will come and get them anywhere, any hour. doesn't matter. sara's mom also thinks she's taught her daughter to make smart decisions. >> i personally think that she
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wouldn't go. i would be very surprised if she does go. but i know you're never 100% guaranteed. i can only hope and pray that she would do the right thing. >> reporter: as our test begins, the moms watch intently. >> thank you all for coming today. >> reporter: the girls think they're here for a taste test. >> they'll give the foods a rating from 1 to 5. >> reporter: chef michael from long island gourmet has prepared six different foods for the kids to rate. >> hopefully you'll enjoy all of them. so bon appetit. >> reporter: as soon as the adults leave -- >> i can attest this is the ultimate munchy food. >> reporter: our actor tells the group he's been smoking pot. remember, these girls don't know they're being recorded. >> i'm honestly surprised that none of you guys smoked before you came here. am i the only one that did? >> are you legit? >> i'm a singer. i can't smoke. >> hunter has said clearly i was smoking pot. made it very clear. >> he said he was high. >> reporter: now our producer comes in. >> we're going to chef michael's restaurant. >> reporter: and tells them
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they're going to meet up with their parents for more taste testing. i need one of you to drive our production van. you're hunter. >> reporter: our actor says he knows you whose to get to the restaurant. our producer hands him the keys. >> so you're going to drive. >> reporter: and this is where the real test begins. what will sarah and sidney do next? >> i would love to get in her head. >> reporter: will they get in the car? or as their mom's predicted, walk away? >> how are you feeling about this? >> a little uncomfortable right now. they're asking are you okay to drive. coming up, this looks promising, but how will it pan out? and then -- >> i even gave myself a couple shots before this. >> you took shots? >> no kid would get in a car with a drunk driver. right? when "dateline" continues. ♪
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are you legit? >> will these girls, sarah and sidney, get in a car with a driver who just told them he's been smoking pot? >> you're high right now? >> yeah, i smoked like five minutes ago. >> the girls don't know he's just acting. their moms were watching on monitors predicted they will not get in the car. they hold their breath, waiting to see. are they right? so you're going to drive? >> hunter has the keys. he's been instructed to do the driving.
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how are you feeling about this, lisa? >> little uncomfortable right now. >> the group gets up and leaves the cafeteria. there's still plenty of time for the girls to say no. how are you feeling about sidney? >> would love to get in her head. >> reporter: as the group walks down the hallway, the moms stare at the screen, still hopeful their daughters will turn back. they leave the school and walk straight towards the suv. what will they do now? >> oh, my god, they're going to get in. there they go. >> are they seriously trusting you with their van? >> yeah, i'm very trustworthy. >> are you sure you're okay to drive? >> they're asking are you okay to drive. >> will the girls stop him before he drives away?
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>> i'm an excellent stoned driver. >> oh, my god. she's still letting him go. >> i'm a little scared about that. >> it is an eye opener, right? >> very frightening actually. i've got goosebumps. >> where are you going? that's the exit! >> that's the exit! >> we called the girls back to the school. >> hi, girls. >> where we are waiting to speak to them. how's hunter's driving? >> great. >> and he's been smoking pot? i'm natalie morales with "dateline" nbc. did you ever question if he was okay to drive? >> i did -- i didn't say it out loud -- >> you got on the road. you got in the car with someone who was smoking pot and you may not have been able to ever come back. >> we weren't thinking it through. >> reporter: and it becomes clear, like with so many teens, these girls had not gotten the message when it comes to drugs and driving. >> when i think about, oh,
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you're not okay to get on the road, i kind of think about it more as drunk driving. if someone tells you that they've taken any type of drugs whatsoever, you have to just say, i'm not getting in a car with you. >> lesson learned? >> yeah. >> yes. >> turns out, just like these girls, more than 30% of teens don't realize that smoking pot impairs driving skills. their parents need to step in and educate their kids. says parenting expert michelle borba. she says start when they're young and keep on talking, and give examples of what can go wrong. >> use their world in terms of a tv show, a wonderful news article. let's go to the internet and do some searches, look for the number of car crashes of kids who were on drugs. >> we're going to try the test again. >> i'm johnny. >> kristina. >> jordan. i'm 16 years old. >> but this time we planted a different actor, joe, who will tell the group he's drinking. >> i have a nice buzz. >> and an accomplice, lauren
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will make sure everyone believes joe is drunk. >> what's in here? >> i'll be watching along with the teens' parents and dr. robert terisi, a professor and consultant to mothers against drunk driving. 1 in 5 males will drink and drive. females much less. >> reporter: he says the latest statistics show teen drinking and driving kills as many as 1,500 people a year. >> can't hold your liquor? >> i hold my liquor. >> like before, we'll hand our actor keys to an suv and these kids will have to decide whether to get in or say no. christina's mom says just this week her daughter discussed a drinking and driving scenario in her driver's ed class. >> you wouldn't want them driving. but at the same time, she would be in a predicament. >> reporter: but she still doesn't believe her daughter would get in a car with a drunk driver. >> i know she would call me. >> reporter: jordan's mom says her daughter also knows not to
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get in a car with an impaired driver. and has admitted to being at parties where kids are drinking. how does she get then from those parties? >> i pick her up. >> so you expect that in this situation she will say i'm not getting in that car? >> absolutely. i hope. >> and johnny's dad, like the other parents, insists he's taught his son what to do in this situation. >> my wife and i, we've always just spoken kind of frankly with our son. you got to be strong and just walk away. >> reporter: and he's betting that's what johnny will do here. >> i think he really will. i'm hoping. my fingers are crossed. >> reporter: while the teens rate the food -- our actor takes every opportunity to let it slip he's been drinking. >> not as strong as this one but it will do the job for you guys. >> strong, what do you mean, strong? >> spike that punch like it was snooki. i even gave myself a couple shots before this.
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>> you took shots. >> yeah, what is he saying? >> i did take a few shots before. jell-o shots? >> jordan is looking a little uncomfortable. right? look at her face. >> she's picking it up. he's drunk -- like actually. >> not yet. but i have a nice buzz. >> these teens clearly think our actor has been drinking. >> are you done? >> now it's time for our producer to give him the keys. >> i need one of you guys to drive our vehicle. >> jordan immediately offers to drive, but our producer ignores her and turns to our actor. do you know where the long island gourmet is? >> yes, yes, yes. >> you are going to drive. >> okay. interesting. they're all laughing. >> she's looking at him. i know she knows. oh, my goodness. >> christina and jordan start to protest. >> i don't want to get in his car with him. >> i don't think he should be driving. >> but will they continue to follow their instincts or follow the crowd? >> oh, boy.
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>> coming up, just maybe these kids will make the right choice. and then, our actor pretends to slug vodka right in front of the others. will her daughter get in his car? >> oh, my god! >> when "my kid would never do that" continues. ah.
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these three teens are facing a critical decision. one many kids are forced to make. will johnny, jordan and christina get in a car with the driver who they think is drunk? >> you're drunk. like actually. >> not yet. >> reporter: their parents, who have all predicted their kids won't get in the car, stare at the monitors. they all get up, but christina and jordan are reluctant to go. >> i don't want to get in the car with him. >> yeah, i don't think he should be driving so -- >> as they head towards the door, christina even asks our producer if joe has to drive. >> he has to drive? >> we'll be right behind you. >> while jordan makes an appeal to the group. >> i don't think he should be driving, guys. you hear her? >> this gives their parents hope that their kids just might stop before it is too late. >> we'll be fine. trust me. >> if you were sober i wouldn't
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trust you driving. >> what? >> no offense. >> despite her protest, jordan and the other teens keep heading toward the car. with hearts racing, their parents wait to see what will happen next. >> he's getting in the car. oh, boy. >> yikes. >> make you feel better? >> she got in the passenger seat, which is even worse. >> just stunned. i did not expect that. >> i'm disappointed. i'm actually shaking. >> jordan is obviously worried. >> you're okay driving? >> and yet she's flipped off the shoulder strap, another dangerous move. >> you said you had a buzz. >> are you serious? >> you should have seen me at junior prom. >> reporter: they know he shouldn't be driving but will they let him? it's a painful moment for their parents as they watch the suv drive off.
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then jordan admits with a smile she knows what she's doing is wrong. >> my mom told me not to be in a car with someone -- >> reporter: we tell the group to come back to the school where their parents are waiting to greet them. and they realize they're busted. >> we're from "dateline" nbc. >> we weren't supposed to get in the car! >> come on out. jordan's mother tells them about the real test. >> this was about children getting into cars with people that have been drinking and you know what? you didn't pass the test. why did you get in that car? >> it was scary for me to watch you because in a real situation, i don't even want to imagine what could have happened. it's scary for me. >> john, you went in blindly. it was scary. >> i knew something was up. i just didn't know what to do in this situation. >> disappointed.
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>> guys, i'm natalie. i'm here as part of the "dateline" show that we're doing. i know, jordan, you felt uncomfortable but yet you still got in that car. why did you do that? >> i thought it would be okay because she told him to get in the car so i thought it was fine. >> christina, did you think he was drunk? >> i thought he was really just kidding around and that was really an oversight on my part. >> we bring in our expert who is a consultant to mothers against drunk driving to speak to the teens. >> it was really hard not to get in the car. >> yes, because we thought we were on some real taste test thing and we had to go to somewhere. >> they say they weren't sure he was really drunk. he points out it is even sure for police officers to be sure someone is intoxicated and it is not a judgment call teens should be making. is there somebody your age, they're new at driving probably and they're also probably new at drinking. when you put those two things together, it's higher risk. more young people die in car
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accidents than any other way. >> buddy, don't ever do that again. >> these parents are grateful this wasn't the real thing. >> i'm so sorry. >> and hope an important lesson was learned. >> that's okay. it's okay. next time. >> reporter: terisi says most likely what pushed these teens to get in the car was peer pressure. one more lesson for parents to be thinking about. >> i think the way that parents can address peer pressure is through having better communication skills, monitoring their kids more, being more disapproving of risky behavior such as drinking. >> reporter: we're going to dry this again, but this time we'll plant someone in the group who will resist the peer pressure and refuse to get in the car. will that make a difference? you're playing the part up to the point where you have to get in the car. >> yes, at the last moment. >> reporter: this teen, joe, will shall part of the taste testing along with our racketors and real kids. >> i'm kimbia, i'm 16. >> i'm josh, 17.
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>> reporter: kimbia's mom says her daughter was recently in a minor car accident. the driver had been drinking. >> i'm hoping that was a lesson for her. >> reporter: she says her message to her daughter about drinking and driving has been crystal clear. >> never get into a car when someone has been drinking. i don't believe that she will get into the car but i'm not sure. >> reporter: josh's mom describes her son as a charismatic leader who will know what to do when offered a ride by a drunk driver. >> we've had the conversation a number of times. >> she says her son won't get in the car. if he does, how will you feel? >> i already know that i would be very, very grateful that this is a controlled situation. >> reporter: our actor quickly tells the group he was drinking before he got here. >> you should have been with me before this. >> what were you doing before? you were drinking? oh. >> well, i can honestly say i've never been drunk. >> really? >> yeah.
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>> now our actor is saying he's still drinking alcohol. remember, this is all a ruse. >> oh, my god! i didn't know that was alcohol! i thought were drinking before that. >> i was. >> kimbia knows pretty clearly there's vodka in there now. >> we are going to go to the restaurant now. >> reporter: what will they do when our producer picks our actor to drive? >> it is a black suburban and it is parked right in front. >> reporter: with their eyes glued to the monitors, the moms watch their teens to see if they'll stop before it's too late. >> wow. coming up -- a car alarm goes off. will it trigger alarm bells in our teens' heads? and later, this girl lost her uncle to a drunk driver. will that make a difference? >> it is clear by your daughter's reaction that they're having to make a major decision right now? when "dateline" continues.
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blog as much as you like, but if you really want to make an impact, vote. then, what matters to you and the people you care about will really count. you'll want to vote the more you know. so far, we've watched teens making the wrong choice. >> you're okay driving? >> reporter: getting into cars driven by someone they think is impaired. >> why did you get in that car? >> reporter: our testing
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continues. and these moms are hoping, praying that their kids will make the right choice. okay, let's listen to see what they do. kimbia and josh have just been told this teen who has been bragging about drinking. >> oh, my god! i didn't know that was alcohol. i thought you were drinking before that. >> reporter: -- will be driving them to a nearby restaurant. >> we're going to long island gourmet. >> reporter: they all get up without hesitation. >> oh, my gosh. i don't think she realizes that he's going to drive. i'm hoping. >> reporter: remember, at the last minute, this boy, joe, will refuse to get in the car. in the parking lot, our actor makes a bee-line for the driver's seat and accidentally sets off the alarm. our producer goes out to help them shut it off and the parents are hopeful the alarm might be a wake-up call. >> this gives them more chance to think over it a little bit. >> reporter: they shut off the alarm, but don't turn back. we'll give them one more chance to make the right decision.
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joe is going to change the equation. >> he tells the group is he not getting in. i'm going to stay back. >> reporter: joe's given them a way out. will anyone follow him? he walks away all alone. >> wow. >> if this was a different situation my child could be driving off to her death and i'm watching it. i really feel like crying almost. >> it just is shocking. i feel deflated. >> i'm telling you, i would have lost my money if i put a bet on it. i would have lost money. >> reporter: with heavy hearts the moms go out to meet their children. >> did you hear when the gentleman said that he was drinking before he got behind the wheel of the car? >> i thought he was joking around. >> you thought he was joking? >> we were all laughing so -- >> the minute someone tells you that they're drinking, you
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through raise your self-awareness. >> kimbia, josh, we're with "dateline" nbc and your mothers put you in this situation because they love you. >> we have been given the ultimate gift today. both of our families. because this could have been a real life situation. >> reporter: joe, the teen who didn't get in the car, knows all too well what can happen in a real life situation. joe actually lost his best friend in a drunk driving accident. johnny was 18 years old when he got in a car with a teen driver who was drunk. >> pretty much exactly a year ago, the same thing you did, got in the front seat with a drunk driver. he ended up crashing and he died instantly in the crash. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: josh says he just wasn't paying attention to who was driving and didn't think it through. >> i got to pay more mind to a lot of things. i think i'm a very naive individual sometimes. >> reporter: our expert who's
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written "power of parents, a mothers against drunk driving guide book," says moms and dads need to keep an open dialogue with their teens about drinking and driving. >> parents have a much more tremendous influence on their kids, much more so than they think. >> reporter: so far none of our teens have made the right choice. we'll try it one more time. >> hi, i'm alex 17 years old. >> i'm nicole, 15. >> hi, i'm taylor, i'm 15. >> reporter: there's something about our final group that might make a difference. taylor and nicole's moms don't drink at all. >> there's really no alcohol in our home at all. >> with don't condone drinking, my husband and i. >> alex's mom does something experts recommend. >> we do a lot of role playing. we talk about drinking and driving so i'm curious to see what happens. >> and there's one more thing about this group that could be a game changer. a tragedy in nicole's family. her mother's brother killed before nicole was ever born. >> i lost my brother to a drunk driver. >> reporter: it was 1986 when her brother got in a car with a drunk driver.
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>> my brother was 22. he was just graduating college. >> reporter: how much did that affect you at that time in your life? >> life has never been the same and never will be, ever. >> reporter: nicole's mom says she's made it clear nicole is never to get in a r with anyone who's been drinking. >> she does know that if she finds herself in a situation where maybe the designated driver is drinking, she can call me anywhere, any time, we will come and get her with no questions asked. >> still, nicole's mom is not certain about what her daughter will do today. >> i hope that she doesn't go. >> reporter: and what does our expert think will happen? >> i was listening to your interview off stage. i'm a little mixed but statistics say that they'll probably get in the car. >> let's hope the statistics are wrong in this case. >> that's what i'm hoping for. >> reporter: even though these parents are doing all the right things, our expert says there's another strong factor at play here. it's something we pointed out earlier -- peer pleasure.
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>> peer pressure seems to be the most likely predictor of whether a kid is going to drink and drive. >> will peer pressure get the best of these kids. they're in the middle of taste testing while our actor, joe, and his accomplice, lauren, continue the ruse that joe's been drinking. >> i think you're hammered. >> not there yet. i still have a little bit left. >> that's what's in there? in the vitamin water? wow. good job. >> reporter: and when our actor talks about how he's going to get home, nicole questions him. >> you going to drive if you just drank? >> she just asked him. are you going to drive? >> and taylor gives a warning -- >> no drinking and driving. >> so far so good. >> the next part is the hard part. >> i know. >> whether or not she gets in the car. >> i need one of you guys to drive the production van. >> reporter: when our producer hands joe the keys, the girls have an immediate reaction. have we finally found a group of teens who will do the right thing?
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it is clear by your daughter's reaction that they're having to make a major decision right now. >> reporter: or will they get in the car like everyone else? >> oh, no. coming up -- the girls walk out to the parking lot. the last few seconds to make the right choice. ticking away. >> so where is it? is it far? and then, the best advice for parents trying to keep their teens safe. when "dateline" continues. ♪ [ female announcer ] at yoplait, we want you to feel even better about your favorite flavors. so when you call, tweet, and post, we listen. that's why yoplait light and yoplait original are now made with no high fructose corn syrup. and why we use only natural colors and natural flavors in yoplait original.
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so, anything else we can do for you, let us know. but you'll keep it to yogurt, right? 'cause we shouldn't really help with your love life. yoplait. it is so good!
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is it possible to find a group of teens who will refuse a ride from a driver they think is drunk? nicole, alex and taylor have just been told they will be getting in a car that this guy is driving. >> i think you're hammered. >> not there yet. i still have a little bit left. >> wait. that's what's in there? that's not vitamin water? >> reporter: remember, he's an actor we hired into fooling the girls into believing he's drunk. their moms have made zero tolerance for alcohol a part of their parenting, watch to see if it's working. >> i think it is in the spot right in front but let me check. >> reporter: as soon as the teens are left alone, the girls start to push back. >> are we supposed to go with you? >> hold on a second. >> first of all, you're a stranger. i don't know you. >> reporter: but what will they do when our producer returns? >> okay, we're ready. >> reporter: they get up and walk out of the cafeteria. >> oh, no.
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>> moms, how are you feeling now? >> nervous. >> not happy. >> reporter: their mothers can't believe what they're seeing. with everything they've been taught and nicole losing her uncle to a drunk driver, these girls still head outside towards the car. but then a glimmer of hope. the girls are having second thoughts and come up with a possible solution. >> let's walk. >> where is it? is it far? we're going to walk. >> reporter: but our accomplice tries to convince the girls there's nothing to worry about. >> it's fine. it's so close. >> it doesn't matter. you want to die? >> no. >> reporter: but taylor and nicole stand strong. >> my mom lost her brother to a car crash from drunk driving so i'm not getting in the car. >> my daughter just said "my mom lost her brother." >> i'm not getting in the car. bye, joe. >> they head inside to talk to our producer. >> he had alcohol in his vitamin water. >> that's what he said. >> hi girls.
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>> that's my cue to go speak to the girls. i'm natalie morales and i'm with "dateline." i tell them what's really going on. we're actually doing a report on teens and drunk driving and you all did the right thing. how does it feel? >> good. >> now who was the first to really step out and say, he's drunk and i'm not -- >> well, i saw that he had the -- like i knew he was drinking something because he said it. then when she said, oh, you're going to get in the car with him and go here? i'm like, no i'm not. >> you have a personal connection. >> my mom lost her brother to drunk driving accident. >> you really know what it means. >> yeah. she told me never. >> reporter: today would have been nicole's uncle's 47th birthday. >> i love you. so proud of you. >> you did great. >> reporter: our expert, who bet they would get in the car, is happily surprised. >> i want to point out, you're the exception to the rule. a lot of people your age would get in the car. you worked together as a team
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and you gave your reasons. you've been drinking -- >> i'm so glad you proved us all wrong! >> me, too! >> moms, you've made a statement to parents around the country that say they don't listen to me. it doesn't matter. we talk a lot. it really does matter. you made a difference. your kids didn't get in the car today. >> reporter: and terisi says parents need to know that zero tolerance towards drinking alcohol can have an effect when it comes to their teens drinking and driving. >> the data is pretty consistent. when parents let their kids drink alcohol in any amount, they're more likely to engage in risky behavior like driving or riding with somebody. >> reporter: so parents, it is important to remember in many ways, you can make a difference if you follow a few rules. it is not enough to just say, don't drink and drive. it is not enough just to say it once. it has to be a constant mantra. number two, your relationship matters. >> reporter: borba says whether
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it's drinking, drugs or texting while driving, parents need to nurture a close relationship. but also set firm rules, be the parent, not the pal. parents who produce a child who is less likely to take the risks have a warm, positive relationship that also make their kid accountable. >> reporter: you put those two parts of the formula together in your parenting styles, that's the gold standard you are looking for. >> i'm so glad you didn't get in that car! >> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. under the president's policies, middle incomes americans have been buried. they've been crushed. >> two candidates, one stage and plenty of differences. so who wins round one? good evening. i'm jessica aguirre. the duel in denver is

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